Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 855: Connection

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Chapter 855: Connection

“That won’t do.” Yergai instinctively wanted to refuse.

Jiang Baimian wasn’t discouraged and explained with a smile, “Mr. Sheriff, we don’t need to know the secrets. We just hope to have a rough grasp of the abnormalities in Gesterbourg in the past two months to search for clues regarding the Subhuti figurine.”

“The mission regarding the Subhuti figurine?” Yergai asked in surprise. He seemed to recall that he was facing a genuine Ruin Hunter team.

Jiang Baimian nodded. “The progress of this mission is almost at a standstill. We can only find another entry point and see if we can discover any clues.”

“What has this got to do with the public security disputes, criminal cases, deaths, and hospital admission records in the past two months?” Yergai’s memory was rather good. He basically repeated Jiang Baimian’s request, but the order was reversed.

That’s right, that’s right… Long Yuehong echoed this person’s words inwardly. He had the same question.

“It’s a secret,” Jiang Baimian replied with a smile. “Mr. Sheriff, the clues we just provided should be worth more than one Grand Knight gold coin. It’s not too much to ask for additional information since we’ve already received the payment, right? Besides, that information shouldn’t have any confidentiality requirements.”

She emphasized ‘already received payment.’

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Jiang Baimian—who was familiar with the Old World’s various information and knew how to socialize—knew that bribery had to be done in a particular way. Being too blatant would only backfire at times.

Yergai was clearly stunned for a moment as if he suspected that the other party had slipped up. He quickly understood and said with an unchanged expression, “Your request is indeed reasonable. I’ll apply for the corresponding information now, but you have to bear the cost of photocopying.”

“No problem!” Jiang Baimian smiled sweetly.

After Yergai left the reception room, Long Yuehong lowered his voice and said, “Team Leader, aren’t you afraid that he will refuse? The White Knights advocate simplicity, so they will definitely avoid accepting bribes.”

“If he rejects us, we can treat it as if I had used the wrong attitude. This way, everyone can still get along well.” Jiang Baimian smiled. “However, I determined that the probability of him rejecting us was very low. On the one hand, he’s only an ordinary sheriff. His rank is equivalent to a Squire. On the other hand, he’s almost 40 years old. Unless he makes a great contribution, there’s no hope of him becoming an official Knight in his life and letting his child become a Squire. In such a situation, it’s very easy to think of a way to save up money for his family. Besides, we only want him to make an exception. The corresponding matters don’t violate any rules.”

Knights of the White Knights were rather precious. They involved real positions in power and were capable of providing a head start for their descendants. They wouldn’t conciliatorily knight a Squire just because he was old enough.

Therefore, they were completely different from Pangu Biology in this regard. Unlike the latter, an employee could always receive at least two promotions if they worked diligently. When they retired, they might even be promoted and enjoy better treatment.

Shang Jianyao had a look of disappointment. “What about their chivalry?”

Jiang Baimian shook her head. “Ignoring the Old World’s destruction, it’s been almost 50 years since the Chaotic Era. In a place where hierarchy is solidified, where mobility is poor, and where hierarchy is emphasized, only a small number of the lower-ranking Squires and even the middle-ranking Knights will strictly adhere to chivalry when there’s no hope of promotion. In certain eras, we can preach to everyone about chivalry, and in any era, we can do so to only a few people. However, preaching to everyone in any era is objectively impossible. This world’s first nature is ultimately materialism. In fact, giving more benefits is often more useful than shouting slogans.”

She used a famous sentence from the Old World.

“Not necessarily.” Shang Jianyao disagreed.

Just as Long Yuehong thought that Shang Jianyao wanted to say that his lofty spirit would never be quenched and never be vanquished, Shang Jianyao pointed at himself and said, “With Awakened, are you sure that the world’s first nature is really materialism?”

Jiang Baimian—who wasn’t a physical scientist—was momentarily at a loss for words.

At this moment, Bai Chen repeated Yergai’s question. “What does that information have to do with the Subhuti figurine?”

Jiang Baimian retracted her gaze and smiled. “Didn’t we previously guess and preliminarily confirm that the ascetic monk came to Gesterbourg to seek refuge with the Subhuti figurine? We can’t determine if he was killed or if he died naturally for the time being. We can only choose one and dig deeper. If he really died from an illness and walked to the steel-refining furnace to die, what would he do with the Subhuti figurine?”

“Destroy, hide, or hand it to a trustworthy person,” Bai Chen replied after some deliberation.

Zen Master Redemption Shang Jianyao raised another possibility. “Maybe he would randomly place it somewhere, like beside the corpse for the fated to obtain.”

“That’s all possible.” Jiang Baimian nodded slightly. “There’s no need to mention destroying it; everyone will never be able to find it. Whether it’s hidden or obtained by someone in Gesterbourg, since the Subhuti figurine is so important, it might produce some abnormalities from time to time.

“Also, if the Subhuti figurine really lands in the hands of someone in Gesterbourg after three years, can he really do it without anyone noticing? After the corresponding mission was issued, will anyone go to him and attempt to extort him before being silenced?”

Long Yuehong came to a realization. “It’s no wonder you want to check Gesterbourg’s public security disputes, criminal cases, mental hospital admission records, and deaths in the past two months…”

This might contain the method that the figurine owner used to deal with the ones in the know.

“What if the silencing job was completed two to three years ago?” Shang Jianyao smiled coldly. “I don’t think many murderers have procrastination problems in this regard.”

Jiang Baimian exhaled and said, “Therefore, this is only a preliminary screening. If there’s no result, we’ll ask for information in the last three years. It will be very difficult for Mr. Sheriff to get that much in one go.”

Clap! Clap! Clap! 

Shang Jianyao clapped and ended the topic.

Long Yuehong sighed. “There’s so much information that needs to be examined one by one to determine if there’s anything wrong. It’s quite a lot of work.”

“The loss of the Subhuti figurine was three years ago. I’m afraid we won’t be able to find any clues if we don’t dig deep. Even a good intelligence peddler like Gitis can’t give us valuable information, right?” Jiang Baimian recalled and said, “Sometimes, the most useful solution is the clumsy method. Back in First City, didn’t we only find the real Father by flipping through the trash? Besides, we still have Old Ge. He can do large-scale data analysis directly.”

“That’s true.” Long Yuehong and Bai Chen nodded at the same time.

Jiang Baimian suddenly frowned.

“What’s wrong?” Shang Jianyao asked curiously.

Jiang Baimian thoughtfully asked, “Did I just say that a good intelligence peddler like Gitis couldn’t find any useful clues?”

“Something like that,” Shang Jianyao confirmed.

Jiang Baimian looked around and said, “Did Hey previously guess that Gitis or one of her informants had Heavenly Eyes?”

“Yes, yes, yes!” Shang Jianyao admitted happily.

Bai Chen pursed her lips and suggested, “Team Leader, are you saying that the Subhuti figurine landed in the hands of Gitis or someone from her team?”

“Is that why she can monitor the situation in Gesterbourg in real-time and obtain first-hand information? Is that why she often gets distracted and likes to be in a daze as if she lives in her own world? Is that why she deliberately avoids the matter regarding the Subhuti figurine and doesn’t give valuable clues?” Long Yuehong increasingly felt that there was a certain possibility. “If the Subhuti figurine involves power at the Kalendaria level, it’s rather normal for Gitis to see something from a kilometer or two away from the hotel’s front desk.”

Jiang Baimian nodded slightly and said, “If it really involves power at the Kalendarium level, it’s reasonable for them not to use up all the figurine’s power after three years. Next, we have to confirm when Gitis started daydreaming.”

Their current guess was considered a bold hypothesis. It was based on Gitis’s extraordinary performance and her ordinary performance regarding the Subhuti figurine. However, there were too many reasons that could explain it away.

They needed to verify it carefully.

The Old Task Force was in no rush to leave. When Yergai returned, Genava finished scanning the corresponding information.

The photocopying fees were naturally saved.

The receptionist at the Fire & Iron Hotel was another employee today; he didn’t know Gitis as well as Spant. The Old Task Force asked a few questions but didn’t receive any valuable answers.

Left with no choice, the Old Task Force chose Old Henley for lunch again and found the brown-haired waiter from before.

After confirming their orders, Jiang Baimian casually asked, “Will Gitis come again this afternoon?”

“I’m not sure.” The brown-haired waiter shook his head. “She doesn’t seem to be on break today. She still has to work at night.”

“Then, where does she live? We want to get more information,” Jiang Baimian said.

The brown-haired waiter became vigilant. “Just find her at the Fire & Iron Hotel tonight.”

Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged his words and asked, “She’s really well-informed. It’s difficult to imagine that she’s only been an intelligence peddler for a few years. Uh, did she start being an intelligence peddler a few years ago?”

“It began when she became a receptionist at the Fire & Iron Hotel,” said the brown-haired waiter as he recalled. “It’s been almost three years.”

Three years… The Old Task Force members’ eyes lit up.

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